Gritty Pathways

a forest of thoughts

with pathways of grit

bordered by the ageless

unbending, yet

graceful willow trees

waving me on effortlessly

with the wind of yesteryear



I traverse the pathways

crushing fear underfoot

grittily determined to endure

with grace as my companion

and pockets full of pebbles

slowly being ground

into the gritty sands of time
© 2019 michael d emmerich

Inspiration Comes Knocking

It came knocking and I opened the door and welcomed it with open arms. Inspiration brought friends, as I have been diving into the classics of late; Milton, Shelley, Poe, Goethe and then the music of Carl Orff and the more recent music of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and The Alan Parsons Project. From this mish-mash, has come a torrent of thoughts, ideas, annotations and my ideas Journal is looking very busy and messy these past few days … 🙂

I am putting the finishing touches to a few poems and I am for the first time in awhile excited about this new work that I am putting out, it is (IMO) quite a different style of writing …

So watch this space … it might be a busy few days/weeks that lie ahead, plus I have a few pressing editorial deadlines :O

Some Kind of Pain

oh that

exquisite beautiful tragedy

giving birth to

amazing creativity

…..

nobody feels any pain

nobody feels any joy

…….

to feel joy

you must first experience pain

…….

or is it

the other way round?

© 2017 michael d emmerich

Creative Playlists

This post rises from the ashes of an article I penned sometime back; On the Celebration of Creativity, at that time, one of my avid followers Juandre Hayton requested that I share my (creative) playlists, the music I listen to when I want to be inspired. Sorry its taken so long Juandre and thanks for the reminder – mate 🙂

I have at least 5 playlists that I plug into, and they are mainly dominated by Bob, Bruce and David. The lyrics of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen always come to the fore – my Bob&Bruce playlist, which is collectively all their music that I have, over a 1,000 songs, even keeps me company on long runs, MTB rides and gym workouts (lexiebrookeblog) Within the playlist, Bruce’s 3 raw acoustic albums Nebraska, Devils and Dust and The Ghost of Tom Joad dominate, at times I just let an album play out, in its entirety  …..  in my trusty headphones.

These, the are the music playlists, that keep me flitting on the edges of deep dark thoughtful emotions.

“A great deal of poetic work has arisen from various despairs.”

Lou Andreas-Salomé, the First Woman Psychoanalyst, on Depression and Creativity in Letters to Rilke

Play List Titles

Each list serves a different inspirational purpose – and it really just depends on my mood on the day, at times I start with one playlist and then switch to another.

Bob&Bruce: collectively all their music that I have, about 1,000 plus songs. These two articles discuss my Fav Bob albums and songs, the songs/albums that inspire me: My Top 10 Bob Dylan Songs and My Top 10 Bob Dylan Love Songs

Prog Rock Rules: I love the melodic, synth, orchestral sounds of (Classic) Progressive Rock; here you will find Wendy Carlos, Rick Wakeman, Iron Butterfly, ELP, Tonoto’s Expanding Headband, King Crimson, Tangerine Dream, Alan Parsons and Strawbs.

Obscured at the Rainbow: includes my favourite Pink Floyd Albums (Dark Side, Wish You Were Here, Momentary Lapse, Endless River, Division Bell, Zabriskie Point) and the 4 solo albums of David Gilmour. read about my love of Gilmour here: The Solace in the Silence

The Boss: Just Bruce, but then I do play some albums on their own, the three I mentioned above, plus Magic, The Rising, We Shall Overcome … and others 🙂  Check out this article to read my perspective on the songs of Bruce: The Bard of New Jersey

Ulver: I have a preference for their more recent experimental albums; THEMES FROM WILLIAM BLAKE’S THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL , The Assassination of Julius Caesar, Wars of the Roses, Blood Inside and Shadows of the Sun. Check them out at: Ulver

These songs/music help me step back and detach, or at times just drag me right into their maw. I hope you enjoy the journey when you dive into them, and I would love to hear about your inspirational music.

FYI: I was listening to Bruce’s Devils and Dust album while penning this post 🙂

“It’s by writing… by stepping back a bit from the real thing to look at it, that we are most present.”

Alison Bechdel on Writing, Therapy, Self-Doubt, and How the Messiness of Life Feeds the Creative Conscience

Certainty

inspiration, that which

born from not knowing

drives us to discover

to tackle the uncertain

in the hope that certainty arrives



grasping at the uncertainty of life

pushes us to embrace that continuum

of not knowing

if or when certainty will arrive

but arrive it will



turning the unknown

into the known

that empty canvas

into the most majestic sunrise

on a glorious new day

flush with new discoveries

© 2017 michael d emmerich

The Versatile Blogger Award – Nominations

I had the honour of being nominated by MrAnonymous, for the above award. More about him and his unique blog in his own words:

Stop by, and we hope you’ll become apart of the Project: Heard family. You are the voice, we are the platform. 

TheMrAnonymous

Rules of the Versatile Blogger Award:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and share their link.

2. Nominate at least 10 bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs. Also, inform them about the nomination.

 3. Reveal 7 facts about yourself that your readers may not know.

Seven Facts About Me

  • I love my cats
  • Travel way to much and spend to much time away from home
  • Enjoy the outdoors – Running and MTB
  • Live on the most exciting continent – Africa
  • Addicted to EMS ♥♥
  • Chocoholic 🙂 … say no more
  • Enjoy Bourbon and Cigars

There we go … some useful (or useless) trivia about me 🙂

My 10 Nominations  – In no particular order – far be it for me to be accused of favouritism 🙂

They are a strange mix of poetry, books, music and writing sites .. a unique eclectic mix, I encourage you to pop in and visit them. They give me many happy hours of distraction.

See you in the blogsphere, next time,
Regards mikesnexus (aka – ME)

Answers in the Wind

it's all just

blowing in the wind

when cowls fly

and doves scrape the sky

angry white horses

relentlessly throw themselves

against the sand



time is like mist

sweeping over the mountains

swirling ….

to and fro

its all a daze

as shadows become real

and..

questions are answered

when the wind blows

© 2017 michael d emmerich

The Bard of New Jersey

This is not a definitive article on The Boss, but an introspective look at 3 albums which have resonated with me over time (I do need to revisit these 3 albums with a more weighty article). Springsteen is an artist I greatly admire and respect, for so many reasons; for his strong social consciousness and the way he juxtaposes darkness and light, despair and hope, life and death; all the while documenting life as he sees the world.

Most of his songs focus on the marginalized, the working-class, people making their way in the world, getting through the daily grind. He has spent most of his musical career documenting the daily struggle of people who live in a country (America) where the status quo is:

enforced by a corpocratic government that allows only the rich to get richer

His songs offer glimpses of loss, confusion, hope, faith, resolve, death and destruction; caused by life, politics and government mismanagement. He continually offers hope, at times only glimpses, but it is there for those who are looking; as they are tested by the fire. Emerging from the furnace of life scarred but whole.
I sink beneath the river cool and clear
Drifting down I disappear
I see you on the other side
I search for the peace in your eyes
I break above the waves
I feel the sun upon my face
Paradise – from the Rising 2002
Springsteen is not scared to ask the hard questions that confront the working man. In the above quoted album The Rising; there are tales of great suffering, but there is joy, hope, and a possibility of new tomorrow, without an empty sky. Springsteen says, he was “concerned with those [relationship] ideas: that if you don’t connect yourself with your family and to the world, you feel like you’re disappearing, fading away”.
He has the ability to bring beauty to tragedy, and shine light where it should not exist. Some of his greatest work, in my opinion, are his three acoustic albums; they are stark, dark and raw. They claw at the very fabric of society, lifting the covers and showing the dark underbelly, that exists right in front of us, that we are at times, to blind to see, or refuse to see.
It’s songwriting, you know, but in the sense that there’s a geography to it, there’s a landscape, both a physical landscape and an emotional landscape, where I’m trying to capture the essence of an individual’s life in some sense. What’s he striving for? What’s he struggling with? Where is he?
Bruce Springsteen in conversation with Adam Sweeting 2010
The three acoustic albums are Nebraska (1982), The Ghost of Tom Joad (1995) and Devils and Dust (2005). I would say this triptych is essential listening – in one sitting – for all those hardcore Springsteen fans, during which you would be hard pressed to survive with dry eyes.
The stark, dark acoustic masterpiece, The Ghost Of Tom Joad, (Steinbeck fans will remember this character from The Grapes of Wrath, which Springsteen reread before doing this album)which celebrates its 21st  anniversary this November, is considered by many to be a sequel to Nebraska (1982) due to its tone, mood and context. It skirts the darkness at the edges of towns and those lost in our peripheral vision. Its as real and relevant today as it was then, whether you live in the USA, Europe or South Africa. The austere guitar plays out against a dark post apocalypse economic wasteland visited upon us by powers (governments) beyond our control. The opening and title track – The Ghost of Tom Joad – reminds us that there are still plenty of people living in the margins who need somebody to fight on their behalf. Be it refugees at sea in the Mediterranean, Mexicans been sent back across the border, Syrians walking across Europe, Somalians been killed by warlords or a Zimbabwean fleeing a tyrant.
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Where there’s a fight ‘gainst the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Mom I’ll be there
Wherever there’s somebody fightin’ for a place to stand
Or decent job or a helpin’ hand
Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ to be free
Look in their eyes Mom you’ll see me.”
Bruce Springsteen – The Ghost of Tom Joad – 1995

25th ANNIVERSARY ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME CONCERT
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band with Tom Morello – Ghost of Tom Joad – Madison Square Garden, NYC – 2009/10/29&3

What draws me to Springsteen? It’s a combination of his gripping raw lyrics, social consciousness and he is not afraid to have an opinion even if it means losing fans, and then there is his rollicking rock sound when he rips loose with the E-Street Band. I love it when he tackles the powers that be head on, with a hungry heart for the the downtrodden. Springsteen is not scared to tilt at windmills he even called out Trump as a “con man” on “That’s What Makes Us Great,” his new protest song with longtime collaborator Joe Grushecky.

Don’t tell me a lie
And sell it as a fact
I’ve been down that road before
And I ain’t going back
As long as Springsteen keeps churning them out I will keep listening and loving his music, long may the magic last . Here are a few of my favourite Springsteen Albums and Songs … was tough as always to keep the selection concise, especially the songs. Would love to hear your favourite songs and albums.
Peace and love to you all, know matter where you are born or roam
My Favourite Bruce Albums (in date order)
Darkness on the Edge of Town – 1978
The River – 1980
Nebraska – 1982
Ghost of Tom Joad – 1995
The Rising – 2002
Devils and Dust – 2005
Magic – 2007

My Favourite Bruce Songs (in no particular order) – some still bring a tear to my eye

Keeping it to 12 as I did with my Dylan listing 🙂
American Skins
Seeds – Live 75 – 85 version
Ghost of Tom Joad
Paradise
Missing – included on the soundtrack to the 1995 Sean Penn film The Crossing Guard
Blood Brothers
My Fathers House
Secret Garden
Trapped
Lift Me Up – A must listen, you will not believe how beautiful his voice is on this acoustic number
Countin’ on a Miracle – Acoustic version – Originally on The Rising
Devils and Dust
The last word from Bruce: “I open the door, I climb the stairs…,”  completes this post Thanks 🙂

For more on Bruce – head over to, my article on his recently released autobiography Rreview-Born to Run – Autobiography

Writers/Creative Block (Partial)

The ideas are there, still flowing, my ideas journal is being topped up, writing is taking place; but I am just battling to fully translate the ideas into a completed poem – that is ripe and ready to enjoy – in my opinion. The branches are thick with fruit, they look tempting, ready to pick, but no; they are still to green, so there they must hang and just be viewed by me and not enjoyed by others. Each day I return to see if they can be picked and posted, but no, so I just have to sit and stare at them, hoping they ripen, so frustrating. At present, I am writing, but all the poems are either incomplete or unsatisfactory – just missing that something.

My usual tricks of the trade are not working:

  • Longs walk (done)
  • Inspirational playlist via headphones (done)
  • Required reading (done)
  • Teapot full and ready (done)
  • Dream Inspiration (incomplete)
  • Vent/Rant writing (Incomplete)
  • Faking it till I make it (battling there)

They say that writer’s block, is often caused by conflicted emotions, outside pressures and distractions outside the norm. Most of us who write are marginally OCD, (or maybe I should only speak for myself) when it comes to our writing and the finished product. We can see the finished product, but just battle to map the route or are confused by the multiple routes available, or as in my case; I am at point A and can see that I need to be at B or whatever! but have no clue as to where the path lies. I have a few finished poems, but am afraid to post them, afraid that they will not measure up to the readers expectations, which is really bullshit, as how can I presume to know what the reader will read or interpret. As they say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

My writing is at times cathartic and I write even in the deepest and darkest moments, but not today, (or yesterday or the day before that). Is it possible that to much angst, can be a bad thing?

“A great deal of poetic work has arisen from various despairs.”

Lou Andreas-Salomé, the First Woman Psychoanalyst, on Depression and Creativity in Letters to Rilke

What do you, dear gentle reader, do if you are a writer and/or artist?

© 2017 michael d emmerich

Self Publishing My Anthology

To all of my followers and gentle readers, I am busy preparing my anthology of poetry for publication later this year. To this end I have started a crowd funding campaign, donors are also eligible for a personal signed copy, shipped to them once published.

help-me-to-publish-my-first-poetry-anthology

The introduction has been drafted, cover has been designed, back stories for some of the poems penned and possibly a few interesting photos of my working notes have been taken to (hopefully) insert into the anthology. This is where you dear gentle reader come into the picture,  by helping me to select 30 to 35 poems, some of which are listed on my site:

Michael’s Poems

The working title of the anthology is yet to be decided, but I am dabbling with; Shadow Chasers or Chasing Shadows .. as many of my poems delve and dive into the gray, darker parts of my mind

Thanks again for all the likes and follows, and hopefully some of you, by year end, be a proud owner of a signed and inscribed copy of Chasing Shadows.

see you in the web world 🙂